Romanian Minister of Education talks about the textbook mafia

Publishers printing auxiliary textbooks earn about 100 million euros a year just from these books, according to the Minister of Education Liviu Pop said in an interview on Friday. He called them the “lords of the textbooks”.

The Minister also suggested that it is not clear whether these publishing houses pay taxes or whether the auxiliaries actually generate gray money.

Auxiliaries refer to workbooks used by schools in addition to the main textbooks.

The minister recently banned the use of auxiliaries, only to change his mind a little later. On Friday, he said some of those auxiliaries would be used, but only with the approval of the Department of Education.

Pop explained that publishers purposely print low-quality school books, so that children also buy auxiliaries, local Digi24 reports. Textbook lords earn “colossal fortunes” while children suffer and the state collects no taxes, the minister said.

Liviu Pop also said earlier this year that private publishing houses would no longer be allowed to print textbooks. The public publisher Editura Didactica si Pedagogica (Didactic and Pedagogical Publishing House) will instead have a monopoly on the printing of textbooks.

An event in Bucharest calls for the resignation of the Minister of Education and collects books for schools

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(photo source: Ministerul Educației Naționale-România on Facebook)

Helen D. Jessen